Posted: 4/20/2022 2:27:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: sbhaven]
If I understand things right. Stratford PD denies a temp pistol permit to an applicant who had a conviction in NY for a similar CT charge that is one of the pistol permit prohibiting misdemeanor conviction charges. BFPE overturned Stratford's denial. Stratford PD appealed to a trial court who sided with Stratford PD in denying the temporary permit. Case was appealed and the CT Supreme Court indicates that because the legislature didn't specifically include equivalent convictions from out of state jurisdictions those convictions are not an automatic denial.
STRATFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT v. BOARD OF FIREARMS PERMIT EXAMINERS ET AL.
1. The trial court incorrectly concluded that § 29-28 (b) (2) (B) automatically disqualifies a state pistol permit applicant with an out-of-state conviction that is equivalent to a conviction under § 21a-279 from receiving such a permit, as only a felony conviction or a conviction of those misdemeanors specifically enumerated in § 29-28 (b) (2) (B) constitutes a per se bar to obtaining a state pistol permit under § 29-28 (b): the legislature having previously used explicit language in other Connecticut statutes to incorporate equivalent out-of-state convictions, this court concluded that the absence of such language in § 29-28 (b) indicated that the legislature intended that a conviction for one or more of the eleven enumerated Connecticut offenses therein, but not a conviction for an equivalent offense, would operate as a per se bar to obtaining a permit; moreover, there was no merit to the police department’s claim that reading § 29-28 (b) as barring permit applicants who have been convicted of one or more of the eleven enumerated offenses, and not their outof-state equivalents, from receiving a pistol permit would lead to bizarre and unworkable results insofar as it would result in different treatment of individuals who pose the same risk to the public, as the legislature may reasonably have intended to treat in-state and out-of-state convictions differently and to have suitability determinations regarding out-of-state, nonfelony convictions be made on a case-by-case basis; furthermore, contrary to the police department’s claim, certain language in the statute (§ 29-32) governing, inter alia, the revocation of existing pistol permits did not require this court to read § 29-28 (b) to incorporate equivalent misdemeanor convictions from extraterritorial courts of competent jurisdiction.
2. The trial court improperly substituted its judgment for that of the board, following the board’s determination, after a full hearing, that L was a suitable person to obtain a state pistol permit, as this court could not say that the board acted unreasonably, arbitrarily, illegally, or in abuse of its discretion in making that determination: the record indicated that the board considered and explicitly discussed the potential for the different treatment of out-of-state offenders and of those offenders convicted of similar crimes in Connecticut, the legislature’s purpose in enacting § 29-28, and its own statutory interpretation analysis, and, although the trial court, on the same record, may have come to a different conclusion than that of the board, neither this court nor the trial court may substitute its own judgment for that of the board with respect to the weight of the evidence or questions of fact; moreover, there was no merit to the police department’s claim that the board had abused its discretion in determining that L was suitable to obtain a permit insofar as his conduct, including the conduct that led to his drug conviction, his confusing response to a question in the board’s appellant questionnaire, and his inability to explain to the board his response in the questionnaire or to respond to simple inquiries during the hearing before the board, demonstrated that he should not be entrusted with a weapon, as the degree to which the board credited L’s responses to its questions, L’s candidness regarding the answers in his appellant questionnaire, and L’s overall comportment and demeanor were not for the trial court or this court to second-guess.
Argued December 16, 2021—officially released April 26, 2022
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